‘It’s a record for the angry‘ – Niall McGuirk on Sect‘s second LP, No Cure For Death
Some recent observations –
I have been wondering whether males should get involved with all the recent #metoo declaration. For me, people are people and are equal. Equally deserving of one another’s assistance and attention. All equally able to face whatever needs to be faced. I’m not sure that’s good enough in this instance though.
I have also been pondering the idea of positive discrimination. Many strong independent women have discussed this with me from both perspectives. Womens’ voices in society aren’t being heard loud enough, that is starting to change as women stand up and tell their stories.
I have been watching the rise of the Repeal the 8th movement here in Ireland. Many people are finding a voice and a home for their dissent. They are comfortable speaking out in a country that they would, decades past, have been ignored or ostracised in.
I have noticed the rise of the Loud Women collective in the UK, putting on gigs for bands with mostly women in their line-up,. They are organising festivals, compilations and generally being positive around womens’ participation in all types of music.
I am looking forward to the Dublin Feminist Film Festival, a three day festival promoting and celebrating female filmmakers, hoping to inspire and empower others to get involved in filmmaking.
There’s a world out there that has oppressed and silenced women in the workplace and arts community. There’s a world fighting back.
“What has this got to do with Sect and their new album,” you may rightly ask. Nothing really, only for me to show that for every male screaming aggressively, there are equally agressive women kicking against the pricks.
Hardcore is a very male dominated music genre. It’s generally a very raw and aggressive sound, and can lead to an aggressive response from the listener. These listeners tend to be white males. This is not by exclusion as inclusion has always played a part in punk rock and hardcore. The reality is when you look at the band pictures of Sect you see 5 tough looking men with mean faces. Ready for war.
However Sect do seem to be that bit different. Theirs is an aggression that has the five men playing dark and raw and fast and heavy, but….. well they seem like really well intentioned and nice guys. They have been playing in bands since the early 90’s and have been living a lifestyle of positivity inside and outside those bands. Their reason for getting together as a band wasn’t just to play super powerful hardcore music incredibly well but to convey an urgency that desperate times need real talk and action.
So this is their second record, their first for Southern Lord. It is 10 songs of double bass drum blast beats and speed. A pure cacpohony of noise with breakneck tunes trapped in there screaming to be free.
The band carry a straight edge message that resonates with me. As someone involved in the punk scene for over 30 years I still get asked about my choice of liquid. It still seems to mean something to people that I don’t drink alcohol. During a conversation at the recent Cock Sparrer gig the inevitable discussion ensued and I was told “It’s ok, I know 2 other people like you“. Phew, one more for a gang of four eh? Sect proudly exclaim their lifestyle choices and these include a choice of no alcohol. They also are proud to be vegan and wear this on their sleeves outside the band as there’s two vegan businesses to run. Living the life they sing about.
There’s an anger to Sect’s music that deserves a place in Irish society, none more so than with Crocodile Prayers that calls on those to “come down off the cross / you dead headed frauds“. The music thumps as Chris Colohan screams “You build whole worlds on the backs of the dead“. It is fierce and if you allow the fierceness to take over you will be banging that fist and shaking your head. It’s not an album to put on in the background or if you want your guests to stay and have a chat. It’s a record for the angry; those who feel a desolation with the world.
No Cure for Death is one hell of a scream for a better future, one that leaves you drained after listening to it.